Topical Medications for Treating Peripheral Neuropathy
Topical Medications for Treating Peripheral Neuropathy:
Topical medications, such as creams, gels, ointments, sprays and patches can be very helpful in temporarily relieving pain, burning, “numbness and tingling sensations” in the feet. There are distinct advantages for using topicals in treating neuropathy. Medications that are applied to the skin are usually much safer than oral medications-although side effects can occur-so caution is advised and directions of use should be adhered to. Topicals also work more quickly than their oral counter parts.
Over-the counter topical medications:
Nerve Relief Cream, Biofreeze, Sombra, Aspercreme, Icy Hot and Bengay These products contain menthol and methyl salicylate which are known as counterirritants. They work by causing the skin to feel cool and then warm. These sensations distract you from feeling the pain.
Capsaicin is a medication derived from cayenne peppers. Capsaicin is not only used to treat neuropathy but may also provide pain relief from back problems, bursitis, postherpetic neuralgia, arithritis, joint pain and pruritus (itching). For the treatment of neuropathic pain, capsaicin is typically delivered in the form of a cream, such as Zostrix, which is 0.025% capsaicin.
Neuragen is botanical preparation derived from various plant extracts. Although the exact mechanism of action is not entirely known, it has been proven to be clinically effective in relieving neuropathy pain and discomfort.
Prescription Topical Treatments:
The Lidoderm Patch® is a patch contains 5% lidocaine and is available by prescription only. Lidocaine, which is structurally similar to Novocaine, is most often used as a local anesthetic to “numb” a particular area on the body.
Compound pharmaceuticals are formulated topical preparations that are custom-tailored by prescribing doctor. There is no one standard formulation for reducing pain and discomfort associated with peripheral neuropathy. Some of the more common active ingredients used for treating neuropathy include prilocaine, lidocaine, ketoprofen, indomethacin, amitriptyline, baclofen, clonidine, ketamine, tramadol, gabapentin, and Tegratol. Most compounded topicals are prepared in the form of gels, creams, lotions or dermal patches. Each ingredient has a different mechanism of action. Note-a compounded formulation may contain some of the active ingredients listed above-but will never contain all these ingredients combined together.